By Teachers, For Teachers
We all have those students who are habitually in trouble or are making trouble. This post is for all the teachers who struggle to reach those kids who snarl when you look at them, recoil when you are near them, and refuse to do what they are asked.
Here are ten suggestions on how to deal with these difficult students:
Stay in contact with parents
Make sure they know what is going on; how often he is in trouble, and what trouble it was. Create this bond and you won’t regret it.
Use proximity to limit negative actions
When at all possible, place the student nearest you (hard when you are immersed in PBL) or stay within close proximity to him.
Have defined student expectations
Use the same steps to get the student on task and behaving EVERY TIME…i.e., ‘this behavior ALWAYS equals this consequence.”
Choose the best time to discipline
You can’t win when you try to call out a student in front of his or her friends. Back off until you talk in private.
Try to empathize with the student
I know it’s hard, because the kid is RUDE, but try to find out what is really going on. Can you get someone to talk to the student? The student might need to take a safe seat to re-group.
Build on common ground
Reflect on your relationship to see if there is any way you can relate to the student. Does the student play sports? In the Band? Have a sibling? Build on that and see what happens.
Utilize your teaching colleagues
Talk to your colleagues; has anyone been able to reach this student? If so, set up a meeting with the student and the teacher.
Make class work a non-issue
This is HARD, but take the class work out of the equation for a short time and work on the relationship…work the “work” back in later.
Try the peer tutor technique
Ask yourself- Is the difficult student good in one subject? Can he tutor a fellow student? Can he help someone else succeed? It works BOTH ways.
Never give up
No matter the behavior, don’t give up on trying to reach that student…the negativity may be a defense for something deeper. Keep up the good fight!
What strategies do you use when dealing with difficult students? Share with us in the comments section!